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| Crime |

Patrick Ward made anti-bicycling statements before crash that killed cyclist

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Over the weekend in Lyons, Patrick Ward, 69, was arrested on a series of charges, including suspicion of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol, in the death of cyclist Michel Van Duym.

Now, we're learning that Ward appeared at a series of public meetings in Lyons circa 2010, expressing with great passion his dislike of the cyclists that are so common in the community. At one point, he said, "These people don't belong in Lyons. They certainly don't belong in the foothills around Lyons."

This last quote is from "PCDC Gets an Earful," a 2010 article in the Lyons Recorder about a meeting of the town's Planning and Community Development Commission. Here's an excerpt from the article:

Pat Ward took the dais next, and voiced his frustrations with the wording in the Comp Plan, which spoke to promoting and enhancing the use of bicycles in Lyons. Ward noted that if the riders were to be afforded the rights of an automobile driver, then they should be expected to obey the rules of the road. He cited numerous instances he had witnessed when "gangs" of bicyclists disobeyed signage, lights, and impeded traffic flow, and he questioned why Boulder County Deputies failed to issue tickets to the offenders.

Ward didn't have a spotless road record himself. As noted by the Boulder Daily Camera, he was busted for driving under the influence back in 1975.

Nonetheless, Ward continued to express antipathy for cyclists in public forums. According to 9News, he took part in a series of meetings dealing with a ten-year plan for Lyons that promoted cycling; they took place in March, April, May, June, and July.

At such get-togethers, one of his themes is said to have been the problems presented by cycling and cyclists.

Cut to Saturday afternoon, when Van Duym, a 46-year-old sales representative at GHX, described by the Camera as "a Louisville-based health care supply chain management firm," was riding his bike on Lyons' Main Street when an SUV driven by Ward struck and killed him.

The Boulder County Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation. At this point, the BCSO believes that Ward was heading west on Main when the accident took place.

Unfortunately, he appears to have been doing so in a eastbound lane.

Ward was promptly arrested and placed in Boulder County Jail on a $25,000 bond. He's expected to make his first court appearance at 2 p.m. this afternoon.

In the meantime, a memorial service for Van Duym is slated for Saturday at St John's Episcopal Church in Boulder.

Our condolences to his friends, family and loved ones.

Look below to see a larger version of Ward's mug shot and the 9News report.

Correction: The original version of this post reversed the direction Ward was traveling at the time of the fatal accident. The mistake has been corrected; we regret the error.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "The ten worst Colorado bike collisions of 2012."

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